Folksy Ltd

When did you start?

(Chelsea Carr) #1

I just took my nieces work down to her first open art exhibition.

She is only six and I was no where near her stage at the same age.

I guess I sort of push her along because she gets left with me allot and its the only thing I can think to do with her.

I started drawing because my mum and grandmother did it.

I thought it would be fun to find out how everyone got started in their craft and how old they were.

(Susannah Ayre) #2

I was probably about the same age as your niece when I found I loved anything arty.
My mum and dad weren’t arty at all but enjoyed watching me do it and seeing me experiment with things. I’m 28, so grew up with things like Art Attack on TV which I think helped too- I’d watch it on TV after school then spend the next few nights making something I’d seen.
As I got older I’d pretend to be unwell so I could stay off school and draw. Haha I think my mum figured it out sometimes, but sometimes she’d just let me stay off anyway (not very often!) I had to be a good actor to fool her!! Haha
But throughout middle school I had an amazing art teacher and she ran ‘art enhancement’ classes. At the time is was awesome because it meant me and a few friends sometimes got off timetable all day just to do arty things. And we always did the scenery for school plays and things.
Just always loved art of some sort! It’s never faded! I never assumed I could do it as a job though. I just always figured it’s one of those things you can’t make money off unless you’re amazing! Haha

(Chelsea Carr) #3

Wow that’s amazing.

I love your never stop exploring lino print.

I’m 28 too this Saturday :slight_smile:

(Roz) #4

Well I was somewhat older! About 50 when I started crafting in earnest. I was useless at art at school, art in those days consisted of drawing and painting (paint blocks only) and not much else, and my needlework teacher said I would never succeed as I spent too much time talking! It was either science or art at school and I was very much the scientist so art fell by the wayside very quickly. When I started seeing my husband he was in the RAF and we went to a lot of balls but having no money I took it upon myself to make my own ball gowns which, if I say so myself, came out rather well. I took up knitting for my niece as well and really enjoyed the challenge of learning new stitches. When I had my own children it was the usual round of fancy dress costumes etc but I only got into crafting when they got older and I had time for me - I started making bits and pieces for them and their friends and it just developed from there.

(Grimm Exhibition) #5

I can recall getting a sewing machine when I was 12, it replaced the old winding handle Singer we had that mum used. But I recall revamping dolls clothes before then, so I think its fair to say Ive been creative for most of my life.

(Liz Clark) #6

I started sewing when I was 41! Only 5 years ago :smiley:

When I was at school I was told my work wasn’t very good, so that dented my self-esteem around anything arty. However I fell into doing “Desk Top Publishing” as it was called (before Windows existed - we used the operating system DOS) when I left school and then found I had an aptitude for design on the computer. Bit of a mixed bag of experience there!

My daughter (11yrs old) also feels she’s not good at art (still-life drawing at school) but I’ve explained art encompasses so much more than that and not to write herself off yet.

(Chelsea Carr) #7

I have to say I have noticed a huge pattern of people succeeding who were told at a young age they would never be good.

I also read something once about how high achievers can end to drop off without constant praise and guidance.

I think I may be rambling again lol

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(James Alden) #8

I think my art teacher had a rubber stamp for my school report,each year it would say “talented but lazy”. I really started in the 80s when bro and I wanted to write a natural history book but the cost of illustration was high so I tried my own,the book fell by the wayside as I recall because bro decided to " service" the 6x7 pentax we were going to use as well as painting,I sold the bits left over at a car boot some years later. But I did carry on painting for what I have achieved,the lazy bit still kicks in from time to time,oops my nose just grew another inch,alright most of the time.

(Heidi Meier) #9

That’s certainly true in my case - art was my worse subject yet i was the one everyone said could draw and paint really well. But my teacher said art wasn’t just reproducing something (aka still life) but rated modern abstract art instead to the exclusion of all other forms of art, so pretty much the opposite of your daughter’s experience @BigBirdLittleBird, but just as destructive a thing to say!

I only started doing textile pictures when my daughter was born so came to it fairly late in life.

I watched this video the other day, and I think everyone should watch it, so that when some narrow minded or just insensitive soul tells them they can’t do something, they realise they can do whatever they like, in their own way. :slight_smile:

(Brenda Cumming) #10

I started on my arts and crafts when I was 6. I learnt to knit first and sold a pair of fairisle mitts at that age…then I moved on to crochet. In between I was always drawing and always came top of the class in art class.
All this time I was knitting , crocheting and drawing…
I wanted to go to art school but you needed maths O level to get in…no chance of that…so I got what people would call a proper job…ha ha and I would design, make and sell knitwear to my work friends. I would also draw cartoons and make hand drawn cards to sell.
I also taught arts and crafts at adult education and also did salt dough and fimo modelling and then needle felting. All of these things I would take to weekend craft fairs. I did craft fairs for many many years…often 2 a week. I had a young family and so making and selling was a way to help add to the family budget. We moved to Wales in 1996 and we bought a computer. I was still doing craft fairs, mostly selling crochet and my hand drawn cartoon cards. I gave up the fairs 5 years ago when I decided that online selling was the future for me. Thanks (not) to the craft channels on tv, the world and his wife started making and selling cards so I decided to try my hand at landscape painting…and I also heard about aceos (art cards, editions and originals) I joined a few aceo online groups and started selling these tiny works of art. I have currently sold over 2000 of these and am now branching out into larger paintings. I am now 69 and I like the idea of sitting watching tv and looking our over the Swansea bay while I paint and lose myself in my own little world.

(Lowri of Twinkle and Gloom Art) #11

I can’t remember how old I was but I’ve always been creative. Like Susannah, I grew up watching Art Attack, and SmArt (I was so sad when Mark Speight passed away), both parents where also creative so it was bound to rub off on me. We didn’t really have ‘Art’ class as such in primary school but we’d have Art projects ever now and again and I always always more ambitious than the other kids. I have a vivid memory of my teacher sighing when I showed my plans for a puppet once. I had an elaborate idea to use a muller corner tub, that would create sort of an opening and closing mouth… but what they wanted us all to do was use a spoon, or a toiler roll tube.

Art was the class that made me go to school in secondary school (I also used to carry a folder of art around with me, I’d sit and draw all day to avoid the other kids). If it wasn’t for that class I’d have spent even more time home “ill”. It’s always been my thing, since I can remember. I was always making presents for my parents, always making cards, making clothes and stuff for my dolls, once attempting to make a dress for my Baby Spice doll using a Christmas cracker. If I had to stop making Art, i think I would lose myself. It’s always been such a huge part of my life, it’s a huge part of my identity.

(Susannah Ayre) #12

Thanks!! :smiley:
Ah well- then you’ll be all too familiar with Art Attack!! Haha

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #13

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making or painting - my sister and I were allowed paint and crayons from as soon as we could daub colour onto paper, I can’t remember first playing with plasticine to create models, it was just something I always did (this was years and years before Fimo was invented) and as mum sewed most of our clothes we had lots of material scraps to play around with for dolls clothes. I was always the class artist at school, and even though I went to grammar school I was still more interested in art than any of the academic subjects - I was really miffed that you were allowed to do three science O Levels (that shows my age!) but you couldn’t do art and needlework, you had to choose just one of them!

I did A levels at the grammar school, including Art, plus A/Os in Theatre Arts and Art History. I did take English too, but I spent probably 80% of my two A level years in the art room - I’d be up there in my lunch hour, and most of my English lessons were spent in the Art room - oops! I’d got grade As for my English Language and English Literature O levels, but by 6th form I went to so few English lessons that I got ungraded on my A level paper lol!

I didn’t actually go to art college, as I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, so I tried some ‘normal’ jobs - worked as an audit clerk (great training for book keeping), at a supermarket (good for customer service experience), ran my own shop for a year (taught me that I hate being tied to a strict schedule!), did plenty of craft fairs (back in the hey day of craft fairs in the 90s), did admin for a community arts centre (taught me lots of arty stuff too), then ended up doing admin for the council youth service and lifelong learning - they paid for me to do level 3 NVQs in Business Admin and Customer Service, which has been handy, and although I was meant to be doing regular admin work I ended up doing loads of design work throughout the council (never got paid a good rate for it though!). And throughout all that I was still doing creative things - craft fairs, face painting, Brownie crafts plus 12 years or writing and producing pantos. It’s all stood me in good stead for self employment, so although I would never want to go back to working in an office or shop again I don’t regret having tried to do a ‘normal’ job :slight_smile:

I have to confess, though, I have never watched Art Attack! It was Take Hart for me, with good old Tony Hart and Morph - I think that was the predecessor to Art Attack? makes me feel old lol!

(Tina Martin) #14

I’ve loved drawing & painting since I was little, probably because of my arty mum who actually turned down her place at a London art school to go out and earn money instead. (crazy) Then I dropped art and left school to go and earn money (seems to be a pattern here), and although I carried on drawing I didn’t actually think about creating to sell until about 3 to 4 years ago as the kids were growing up. :slight_smile:

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(Claire Woodhead) #15

Oh my, what a beautiful video. It made me cry! I saw myself there, not really fitting in. I’ve now found the very thing that I love doing and am reasonably good at. I was never any good at school and hated every minute of it. However I was good at art and music but those lessons were only an hour a week. I used to love sitting with my nanna, huddled up on the settee knitting and crocheting dolls clothes and granny squares. Lovely, happy memories! I continued to knit and crochet for my children, so I kept up the skills that I learnt. After being made redundant twice in two years I decided to give selling on Folksy a go.
Thank you for sharing that video.

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(Susannah Ayre) #16

Don’t worry- I loved Hart and Morph too. Would watch that one with my dad. Haha I think Morph really tickled him! Haha

( Carol ) #17

I started knitting when I was 4! Mum taught me. Mum, her 3 sisters, her mum and aunty all knit/knitted so I couldn’t really avoid it lol. I am self taught at crochet as family members only knit. I started crochet when I was about 8 learning from a library book.

I am a qualified dress maker and done it for a living from the age of 19 - 26 in a factory. I had never used a sewing machine when I started the job but they trained me and I gained my qualification and ended up being factory supervisor. I don’t sew now though. I did have a machine but having worked on industrial machines the home machines just don’t ‘cut it’ for me plus I don’t have the room to keep a machine out all the time so I had to put it away every time I used it. When I win the lottery and can buy a big house and all the different industrial machines I would want then I may take it up again :grinning:

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(Heidi Meier) #18

It is quite powerful isn’t it Claire @HookandLoop. This was played when my 7 year old attended her Children’s University graduation recently and I admit I was secretly horrified at how much I could identify with the examples - both as a child and a parent… It’s a simple message really isn’t it, encourage and support others because they do things differently, after all that’s one of the secrets of achieving great creativity! I’m glad I now do something artistic for a living, and whilst its not bringing me millions, I’m far happier than when I held down a regular job!

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(Helen Healey) #19

I was very small (can’t remember how old) when my Mum first taught me to knit. She also showed me how to embroider, which I loved doing. I used to love all the needlework projects we did at primary school. When I went to secondary school I did well academically and was therefore pushed down the academic route (sciences/language/humanity) and not given the option to study the more arty or practical subjects which were then seen as subjects for the less academically-able (a disgusting attitude when I look back on it!). I ended up working in various laboratories for a living and creativity took a back-seat. I discovered cross-stitch in my mid-twenties and did that on-and-off for years as a hobby alongside knitting. I didn’t actually own a sewing machine until a few years ago when I was made redundant and decided to re-visit my creative self and start designing textiles. Sadly, financial commitments meant I still had to look for another job and I now work full-time (still in a laboratory) and dream of the day when I can design and create for a living. I truly hope I can realise this dream earlier than having to wait for retirement in about 20 years time!

(Justtosay) #20

I remember the excitement of owning my first pair of scissors at the age of about 3 (rounded!!) Apparently I chopped my way through my early years. I always maintain that the best things I learned at school were blanket stitch and crochet, from a classmate who taught me to make granny squares at playtime. I haven’t stopped creating since - I put much of it down to a love of fripperies and feeling as though I never have enough disposable income to indulge it; I make things instead! My most recent project (which has kept me absent from Folksy for a while) is for someone else and I have been happily fashioning members of the Royal Ballet out of fondant for a cake!